Liverpool's Desperation Leads to Cheating and A Complete Loss of Discipline
Last week I asked I asked if the players still wanted to play for Liverpool Football Club. Yesterday was the day that two of them proved to me that they do not.
The first of course is Andy Carroll who was returning to Newcastle for the first time, since the events of the 31st January 2011. Events that most of us know should never have taken place because as yesterday finally proved; to buy a player in panic is a total waste of time and money.
Andy as we know has never really settled in and there have been a plethora of questions hanging over his head from the moment everyone learnt of the extortionate fee that was paid for him. £35 million for a player that is only worth around £8 - £10 million (if that) was very good business move by Mike Ashley.
Andy had only played in the Premiership for six months before his move from Tyneside to Liverpool and that alone should have set the alarm bells ringing. He was also bought whilst injured, which should never have happened. It also now transpires that he had no say in the matter and found himself in a city where if the truth be known. He did not want to be.
He is as we all known a Geordie boy, and like Liverpudlians, their heart never leaves the city of their birth. It has not and I know I will get slated for this, but no matter how much the lad has tried; his heart has never really been in it, hence his diabolical form.
Yesterday was the game that according to Kenny and several sports commentators where Andy could have proved that he had finally made the transition and his confidence was on the way back. Sadly his immaturity got in the way and we watched a horror story unfold.
Andy had picked up a lovely ball and with an open goal in front of him, the obvious move to any well-seasoned striker would have been to score - but not to Andy who due to his hesitation found himself embroiled in a tackle that he simply was not going to win. What does he do, he dives and was immediately given a yellow card.
Now you would have thought, this would have indicated to Andy that he needed to rise above his stupidity and get the goals that Liverpool needed and to prove to the Newcastle supporters, that the amount of abuse being directed at him, did make an iota of difference.
But it did not and as we watched the afternoon unfold, it became clear that Kenny needed to substitute the player to try and rescue the game. This happened a lot later than it should have done in my opinion, but I am not the manager and Kenny knows best.
It was what followed that proved to me; Andy does not want too and indeed should never wear the red shirt again.
He was taken off with eleven minutes to play and not only did he storm down the tunnel, he throw a tirade of abuse at Kenny as well as Alan Pardew whilst taking off and throwing his shirt to the ground.
The dive of course set the pattern for the game and seemed to signal to the Liverpool players that there was no point in playing for the points. Their attitude and style of play immediately dropped and the inevitable happened with Newcastle finding the net through Cisse.
Now Cisse is a player that has been brought for next to nothing and yet his goal tally since January already surpasses that of Andy Carroll. It also proves that last summer; the scouting department led by Damien Comolli made some massive mistakes - primarily because they do not have a clue about what they are supposed to be doing. Newcastle on the other hand, have a network of good old fashioned football scouts who have found cheap and wonderful players.
Players who proved yesterday that they were determined to try and get into the Champions League, whereas those bought by Damien Comolli seemed to think that because they have one medal, the league does not matter. It does and something radical now needs to be done on both the playing and the scouting side - Players and staff need to be replaced and if it is not done this summer then Liverpool will find themselves in the wilderness for many seasons to come.
The referee of course did not help matters, by making several mistakes but the Liverpool players should have responded to this by fighting to win the game. They did not and in the end frustration (I use that word very loosely) got to one of the senior players that should have known better. That senior player of course is Pepe Reina, who has actually acted as the team's captain when Stevie or Jamie has not been available.
Liverpool by that time had already lost the game and although the Newcastle player has to take the blame for his part in the altercation, what Pepe did was totally in-excusable.
Why he decided to head butt the Newcastle player only he will know of course, but it led quite rightly to a red card - and yes I know that replays of the incident have shown that there was no contact, but the intent was quite clear.
This moment of sheer madness means that Pepe will miss the FA Cup semi-final because Liverpool has said that they have accepted the card. A semi-final that unfortunately, is all but lost because we will need to use a goalkeeper who is unproven in the Premiership and we have a group of players, who simply do not seem to care about the club and what it stands for.
It has also led me to think about Pepe and his attitude this season. There is definitely something missing from his style of play. He does not seem to be putting the effort into saving as many of the balls that he used too. Time and time again this season we are seeing goals scored by the opposition that would have been saved by him two seasons ago.
Is this just down to the general malaise that surrounds the team, or is it indeed down to the fact that perhaps in the back of his mind, he is thinking about moving on. He is or was a goalkeeper that needed Champions League football and without that, his standing in his national team will be damaged and that is something that I suspect he will not tolerate.
The next thing we saw of course was Kenny going onto the pitch, I suspect to try and calm down the ensuing situation. He was stopped by Stevie G and told to go back to his seat. In my heart of hearts I really hope that this was to ensure Kenny did not add the clubs woes by getting a 'Bringing the game into Disrepute' charge thrown at him. Anything else would confirm my fears that all is not well within the dressing room.
There have of course been the usual calls from the uneducated for Kenny's head over the last 24 hours and of course the media are having a field day. Unfortunately the blame for that lies fairly and squarely at the players feet and quite frankly, if they cannot step up to the challenge of playing for a great football club, then they need to be shown the door.
Kenny has Liverpool Football Club etched on his heart and I dread to think what he really feels because he is protecting his players. A protection that must now be dropped because quite frankly they do not deserve it and Kenny is suffering because of it.
His reputation has taken a battering because of mistakes made by the club's PR department as well as the players. Now we all know that massive mistakes have been made, but Kenny must be given the chance to rectify these.
A lot of you will say, but the club is now in a precarious position. That may be so, but if we all pull together that can be changed. Yes our league position is not looking good and yes a lot of you want instant success which of course was never going to happen. If you cannot accept that ask yourselves this, do you want to become a club like Chelsea who changes its manager on a whim. A whim, which will ensure that, the Champions League and the Premiership may be some years away yet. Because if you do, it will quite possibly be another 20 years before Liverpool get back to where they belong.